Sunday June 21, 2015
I sing. I love singing. Ella Fitzgerald said that the only thing better than singing was more singing. We can all do it and should do more of it simply because it makes us happy. I have sung previously for Her Maj and the Queen of Denmark. I've sung in the White House for a US President; in Hong Kong for the last Governor-General; in Ottawa for Canada's parliament and Prime Minister. Singing has taken me to the Sydney Opera House and war-torn Jerusalem, and next year, hopefully, will take me to China.
On Saturday, 27th June, I'll pass a glorious Saturday night with the RSNO Chorus singing Durufle’s Requiem in St Mary's Cathedral on Great Western Road, and I hope you'll be able to join us. You won't be disappointed. Religious choral music can deliver unique spiritual beauty far beyond earthly prejudices.
Durufle's Requiem emerged from the embittering stresses and tensions of Nazi occupied Paris in the early 1940s. It was commissioned by the collaborating Vichy government. But its nine short movements were only completed three years after liberation as Paris made peace with itself to regain its place as the city of light and love.
The 100-strong chorus will be conducted by our recently appointed Musical Director, Gregory Batsleer, and accompanied by Steven McIntyre on the splendid St. Mary’s organ. The programme also provides a trio of beautiful motets by Anton Bruckner.
Whatever this wonderful concert delivers, it underscores Glasgow's prestigious legacy in choral singing. The RSNO Chorus evolved from the Glasgow Choral Union, formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel’s Messiah in Scotland. Almost 50 years passed before Scotland’s national orchestra was officially founded and chorus and orchestra still perform The Messiah every year on January 2nd.
Remember there are over 100 choral groups in Glasgow and, in this our 20th Festival, there are around 25 singing groups participating – virtually a whole festival in its own right. Glasgow Youth Choir conductor, Audrey McKirdy, ran a magnificent singing workshop for kids over the first WEF2015 weekend at Hillhead Library. That same weekend the City of Glasgow Chorus, directed by Graham Taylor, performed the Faure Requiem, alongside other choral classics, at Hyndland Parish Church.
The Mackintosh Choir, featuring John Rutter, performed to a standing room only audience on 14th June, and, over the past couple of weeks, we’ve enjoyed Gospel, Russian, Chamber, A Cappella, Barbershop and Evensong, as well as the Harry Ensemble from London ….. and still lots more to look forward to .... just as Ella said. The only thing better than singing is more singing.
RSNO Chorus performs Maurice Durufle's Requiem at St Mary's Cathedral, Great Western Road, Glasgow on Saturday June 27th.
Liz Scobie, Festival Chairman
Monday June 24, 2013
20 musicians, collectively known as “Dr. Poembak” came to Glasgow at the weekend to take part in the West End Festival in free live events, pictured at one of the most iconic buildings in the city, Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
The band, who dresses up in doctor, nurse and surgeon outfits, were playing at the West End Festival as part of La Fête de la Musique.
The musicians have diverse backgrounds – some professional and some amateur. This likeable brass band condenses all the elements of fantasy, burlesque and festivity as well as an eclectic repertoire of world music including jazz, tango, gypsy and Latino. Presented by the Alliance Francaise and WBI.
Liz Scobie, chairman of West End Festival said:
“Saturday was one of the busiest days in the festival diary, and it’s great that we have such a wealth of talent and we’re able to share this throughout the west end.
“To be a part of La Fête de la Musique is fantastic and ensures the West End Festival is known around the world. We look forward to developing our international connections, especially as 2014 will be a big year for Glasgow.”
About La Fête de la Musique:
Launched in 1982 by the French ministry for culture, La Fête de la Musique has since become an unmissable annual event. Its concept: offering free concerts on the street and in public places, performed by voluntary musicians, both amateur and professional.
Celebrated in over 110 countries around the world, it is now the world’s largest music event.
The band is playing at 1pm at Botanic Gardens, 3pm at Kelvingrove Art Gallery steps and 6pm at Ashton Lane.
For further information:
Laura Sutherland, Aura PR T: 0141 337 6712 / 07764 936 840
Notes to editors:
- The West End Festival runs from 31 May to 30 June
- The festival comprises over 400 events in 80 venues across Glasgow’s west end
- Sample videos from previous performances:
Sunday June 9, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - SUNDAY, 9 JUNE
Glasgow’s biggest festival celebrates 18 years in Rio style
West End Festival Mardi Gras confirmed for 2014
Festival goers celebrated the West End Festival’s 18th birthday in style with over 600 people participating in Scotland’s Mardi Gras parade today, Sunday, 9 June, as part of the Festival’s month-long programme (31 May – 30 June).
Festival Sunday and the Mardi Gras parade attracts up to 80,000 revellers to the streets and this is the first time the Festival has had sufficient funding to close Byres Road for the Parade since 2008.
Following a public appeal the Festival secured £15,000 of funding towards the costs of its iconic Parade Day from Glasgow based daily deals and events service itison.com, ensuring its return this year.
Oli Norman, founder of itison, said: “We’re really proud to help make the Parade return to Byres Road this year. Over 20,000 itison members in Glasgow have already said they’re coming today so we know it’s going to be a big day. The weather is great and the itison team will be dancing their way down Byres Road with the rest of the Mardi Gras. It’s such a fun day.”
The Festival programme includes over 400 events in some 80 venues across the west end of Glasgow, with events ranging from music and theatre, to walks, talks and community galas. The parade is the biggest highlight of the festival and it has today been announced that funding has been secured via Glasgow City Council for its return in 2014 and 2015, assisting the development of the parade in the wider communities of Glasgow.
Baillie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “The West End Festival parade is a well-established fixture of Glasgow’s cultural calendar, and an event that so many people look forward to every year. I am delighted to say that the council is supporting the parade for three years as we appreciate the significant value, both economic and cultural, that the parade and festival brings to Glasgow and its visitors. I am sure the parade will be as colourful and entertaining as always on Sunday.”
Liz Scobie, chairman of the West End Festival added her thoughts: “From local communities organising their own galas and our widely anticipated parade, to international musicians and the premier of World War Z, the west end is not only a very cultured area and community, but its location lends itself to significant events and is a fine showcase for visitors from outwith the city and abroad of what Glasgow has to offer.
“The parade has been a labour of love for festival director, Michael Dale, parade co-ordinator, Noel Bridgeman, and the Festival team, but it couldn’t have happened without the generous support of our funders, sponsors and volunteers. I’d like to thank each of them for making this spectacular event happen.”
The West End Festival is a celebration of culture, and one that has brought colour and entertainment to the streets of the west end since 1996. It continues to be a key part of Glasgow’s events calendar, attracting visitors from across the city and beyond, as well as including internationally renowned musicians and artists such as Pavel Haas Quartet, Brass Jaw and the live screening of Munch 150.
Laura Sutherland, Aura PR M: 07764 936 840 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- Interviews available on request
- Supporting imagery available on request
- Generous funding is given from organisations such as Creative Scotland, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council
- Other sponsors and funders include IKEA Glasgow, G1, Hugh Fraser Foundation
- More than 1 million visitors have attended the event from its start in 1996
- The festival involves a mixture of new projects delivered by over 100 Glasgow-based organisations and arts groups and a programme of local and international artists, overseen by a small festival team. The West End Festival includes events, exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, workshops and screenings, and many are free of charge to allow accessibility
- For further information on the West End Festival, visit www.westendfestival.co.uk
- Scotland’s biggest free multi-cultural festival, the Glasgow Mela, will take place in Kelvingrove Park from 12 noon until 8pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June. Bringing some of the biggest names in urban, Bhangra and Bollywood music to Glasgow, the weekend promises vibrant tunes, dance, entertainment and live performances on three stages across the whole park. For more information visit www.glasgowmela.com
- More about itison.com: itison.com is officially Scotland’s #1 deals and events service with 500,000 members in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. Founded in September 2010, it is one of the UK’s fastest growing start-ups with more than 40 full time staff in 4 offices across Scotland.